Deco’s Special Batchoy with prewar pandesal*

Categories Food, The Loop


A delectable batchoy noodle dish.

theLOOP north negros route This is the 12th installment of the Luzon – Visayas – Luzon Loop series. Click the image on the right to check out the rest of the posts.

“Its sahog… are plentiful and its broth very delectable.” This is the best batchoy I have ever tasted! I silently exclaimed mindful of the other customers in the airconditioned branch of Deco’s in La Paz, Iloilo. It must be the hunger and weariness of lugging my things while walking a good distance in downtown Iloilo City. Bernie, who met me at the pier took me here when I said that I want to have a good batchoy in La Paz. Its sahog of entrails, chicharon and scallions are plentiful and its broth very delectable.

There is a small debate, I was told, about the first batchoy in La Paz, Iloilo. There are two contenders: Ted’s and Deco. Both started out as a small eatery in the 30’s. However, Bernie said that the latter is the original. Ted’s has been transformed into a franchise that can now be found in major malls in the country. As for Deco’s, the rights and recipe were bought and developed by Edgar Sia II, the successful young businessman who also owns the Mang Inasal franchise.


Deco’s Batchoy’s prewar pandesal

Looking at the menu, I was a bit intrigued with one item: prewar pandesal (from the Spanish pan de sal, salted bread, a common breakfast staple). We ordered four and when it was placed at our table, I was amused. It is small and compared with the regular pandesal, its not light but very compact. The taste, though, is still the same.


How big the prewar pandesal is.

Despite it’s size, its very filling. Just dip it in the broth and enjoy your noodles. The special batchoy costs P50 (a little over $1) while the prewar pandesal is P1.50 (3 cents).

With Deco’s now starting to be franchised, it will just be a few months that one can already sample this noodle dish at the malls. By then, I just hope that the quality will not suffer.

NOTE: This is not a paid ad.

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London).

He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. Open for work, collaborations and inquiries for site features.

25 thoughts on “Deco’s Special Batchoy with prewar pandesal*

  1. Be the first to franchise one in Manila!
    There is still a little space for rent in Mall of Asia! 😉
    Estan’s Original Batchoy with prewar pandesal!
    I will be your “suki”! 😉

  2. lawstude, if you get the chance, you should.

    sidney, haha, if i’ll do that the owner might sue me. but really, you should try this one if you can.

  3. i love Iloilo’s batchoy. probably the best in the Philippines. I haven’t tried Deco’s yet but it looks really good at P50. that’s really cheap compared to the price here in Manila.

  4. As an Ilonggo, I’ve made it an agenda before to find out which batchoy was the best tasting. Well, for me just like your experience, it is Deco’s. It’s because the taste is less meaty and sweeter as compared to Ted’s batchoy, which has its characteristic bowl of brimming meat.

    As to which Batchoy is original, it’s still a matter of debate but from what I’ve heard so far, it’s Teds. Deco’s is also into the franchise business, btw.

  5. If you invented something, why teach everyone and at the same time try to compete with them and claim that you were the first hehehe

    It was only after Mang Inasal bought Deco’s that they started claiming to be the first(kuno) Lapaz Batchoy. With my conversations to some very old people from Lapaz, Deco’s was a butcher and didn’t have his own batchoyan, not before some defunct/bankrupt manog batchoy sold his space at the old batchoy rows of Lapaz at the back of the public market. There are also stories told that Deco’s used to be suki of the oldtimer Ted’s. Deco’s first templador is a cousin of Ted’s wife. So for the tag of being the first? IMO its just one of Mang Inasal’s marketing strategy to position its newest acquisition.

    Ted’s never claimed he invented it but lets give em the credit for making the dish to what it is now and for making it famous.

  6. DAGSUL, may your jealous soul be purified. My warmest pity on your status right now.

  7. to concerned

    let’s just call a spade a spade and let’s just be fair. let’s not put the hardwork that somebody established to be taken advantage by someone who has the capability to bully others through marketing and propaganda.

    btw, even the relatives of Deco’s could not swallow the claim (FYI most of the guillergan’s are also manog batchoy – check Nitong’s batchoy – also a guillergan)

  8. for me the best Batchoy i’ved tasted is Karen’s! to compare it w/ the other Batchoys i’ve tried Karen’s is on top of my list, excuse to all Deco’s and Ted’s batchoy-lovers! you can try it yourself to taste the difference, after all they’re all batchoy! Located in Barotac Nuevo Iloilo (FYI: football capital of the Philippines) my hometown…ask and they’ll point to the place. Enjoy & savor the difference! Cheers!

  9. Vlady, thanx for that differing opinion. It’s not always that what is considered the best is liked by all. Everyone has his own favorite and you got yours 🙂

  10. Linti ginapalaway mo ko hehehehe

    Nat’s, Ted’s, Deco’s, Nitong’s, Ben’s, Farmer’s, Batchoyan sa Super kag sa Central. Hidlaw na ako sa inyo…..

  11. if i’m not mistaken the very first branch of Ted’s old timer which is located at La Paz Public Market was the very exact place where it is now, eventhough the la Paz market itself was so much different now than what ir was before, same with Netong’s.only that Netong’s was not on an expansion or franchising venture for tnat matter.it is still on its humble location at the center of the market.for me they are the mecca of original La Paz batchoy.

  12. Actually, Deco’s claim is not new. Even before it was bought by a businessman and transformed into a modern fastfood joint, it was already claiming to have invented the dish. I remember seeing it featured on tv more than a decade ago, in Korina Sanchez’s show if I’m not mistaken. I think the new owner just took advantage of the claim to market his new batchoy business. But yes, even among the batchoy makers in Lapaz public market, i believe Ted’s batchoy is still known to be the original.

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